How to Keep Your Home Warm In the Winter



How to Keep Your Home Warm In the Winter

Energy costs tend to rise this time of year. Luckily, there are a few simple and easy ways to save on your utility bills. In the article below, our Placerville HVAC technicians share how to keep your home warm in the winter without running up your utility bills

Upgrade to a Programmable or Smart Thermostat 

A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures at various times of the day so you don’t need to keep your home at 68 degrees around the clock. Although one should not be used with heat pumps, a programmable thermostat is a real money-saver with both air-conditioning and heat. Choose a low end setting while you’re asleep or abroad and go for a higher setting at other times (see table below) to save between 10 and 20 percent of your bill. Some units can store up to four temperature settings per day—e.g. morning, day, night, night. All of them have a manual override switch.

Generally, you should mount a new thermostat yourself. Still obey the manufacturer’s directions, but you normally remove the old thermostat and unscrew the wire leads on the back of the terminals. Our Sacramento heating experts advice to reattach the wires to the new thermostat terminals, if necessary, after inserting the mounting screws into the wall. (If you have different heaters and A/C units that use the same thermostat, you can find four lines, two for each unit.)

Keep the Door & Windows Closed

Light a match and the rising hot air will pull surrounding cooler air into the matching flame. Heat the room, and the rising hot air will bring cold air out of the property. It’s a physical concept called “stack effect.” To defeat it, cold air will come into your home, like under a door to the outside.

Seal this gap with a “door snake,” a long thin sack of cloth, like a bean bag. Fill it with dried peas or rice, to make it strong enough to remain in place. You may use scrap fabrics to sew one. You can also maintain the heat where it is needed by making sure that some of the interior doors, such as those leading to the hallways or near the stairs, are kept closed. This shuts down natural air passageways so that they can’t function as chimneys, enabling warm air to escape through the home.

Install a Door Sweep

If you sense cold air drifting under a door leading out and find that using a door snake is uncomfortable (see item #6), mount a nylon door sweeper. Our Sacramento heating installation experts explain that this long thin broom, like a vinyl-and-pile attachment, is mounted along the bottom inner edge of the frame. Cut the sweep to match the hacksaw and lock it in place with four or five wood screws.

Quick Seal Windows

Dead air is a very powerful insulator, and you can make a pocket of it by adding transparent plastic film on the inside of your windows. Our friends over at Maid For Muddy Paws, Deep Cleaning Service Woodlands, TX, explains that this can be invisible if you don’t want the look of the quick seal. Maid For Muddy Paws owner, Brittani, suggests heating the plastic with a blow-dryer to cover up the look.
Place the film on the windows and patio doors selectively or only in unused rooms if you find it unsightly.

Measure your window before purchase; kits differ in size and function only with wood, aluminum and vinyl-clad moulding. Payback is fast on this inexpensive technique, since the heat lost through windows accounts for 10 to 25 percent of your total heating bill.

If you can ratchet the windows, they’re going to let a lot of heat escape through the frames. Seal open spaces with putty-like rope caulk until shrink wrapping. Press-in-place rope caulk ($5 per window) is mess-free and easy to use and a cinch is removed in the spring. But make sure to do a good job of window sealing and caulking before the next heating season rolls around.

Utilize Blinds and Curtains

Do you have drapes or curtains that block sunlight? Open for free solar heat during the day (make sure windows are clean). Then shut the curtains just before sunset. Also, consider insulating curtains (about $100 per window).

As a general rule, every square foot of the window you insulate at night saves about 1 gallon. Of oil or almost 1.5 cubic feet of gas per year which means the insulating curtains pay for themselves in about seven years to say nothing of additional comfort.

Change Your HVAC Air Filter

If you have a forced-air system, our Sacramento HVAC company recommends adjusting the furnace filter to save you some energy (up to 5%) and keep the dust down in the building. The machine will last longer and it will be less likely to break down. The most common 16 x 20-inch duct filter costs about 50 cents when the box is purchased. Change it monthly during the heating season. Measure the air filter before shopping; it varies in size from 12 x 12 inches to 30 x 30 inches. The alternative to switching out the replacement filter is to use washable filters (about $20 each). They will last five years with treatment.

Adjust Your Water Heater

You’re using more hot water in the winter. Lower the temperature of the water heater from 140 to 120 degrees. And take some showers, not some baths. According to the United States of America. Department of Electricity, the average bath absorbs up to 25 gallons of hot water, while the five-minute shower takes up much less—only about 10 gallons.

Equipping the shower heads with low-flow shower heads often greatly decreases water usage, both hot and cold.

Lower Your Thermostat

Every degree you lower the thermostat on your heating system will reduce your fuel bill by 3%. Moving from 72 degrees to 68 degrees doesn’t matter much in terms of comfort, but you can save up to 12 percent on your heating bill. If you use a coil-type thermostat, you can get more accurate readings.

Contact a Placerville Heating Company

Staying on top of your HVAC system maintenance will ensure that your heating system is working efficiently. If you encounter any heating or cooling problems, contact our HVAC company in Placerville, CA. Our team of HVAC technicians will assess the problem and work with you to come up with a solution that fits your needs. 

Questions to Ask Before Furnace Replacement



Questions to Ask Before Furnace Replacement in Sacramento

If your furnace is causing problems, you’ll need to contact a local heating and air company in Folsom. But, how do you know if you need a furnace repair or a furnace replacement? It depends on how old your furnace is, the cost of the heating repairs, and your needs. Don’t worry, our Sacramento HVAC technicians will work with you to find a solution. Below are some questions to ask before furnace replacement.

What Do You Need in a Furnace?

When you decide on a new heating system, it’s all about satisfying the needs of the people in your house. Your heating needs may have changed since the last time you purchased a furnace, so purchasing the same device may not be viable. You could have new additions to your household, increasing the amount of room in need of heat. If you live with a growing family, you can have young children or elderly people who need heat to live comfortably.

How Old Is Your Furnace?

If your current furnace is more than 10 years old, you might want to get a Sacramento heating replacement to get a new model to prevent a higher risk of device failure. However if your furnace is still relatively new and has problems, you can opt for repair. A few basic furnace repairs can prove more cost-effective in the long run.

Do You Want Good Indoor Air Quality?

It’s pretty normal to catch a cold this year, but you may find your household members coughing and sneezing a lot more for other reasons. Our friends over at McQuillan Bros, the best heating company in Minneapolis, explains that this is a sign of poor indoor air quality. They see this often during their long winters, meaning that your furnace could be at fault. In addition to heat, your furnace can emit dust and other allergens. If this continues to be the case, it is certainly time to update your system, even if only to boost your indoor air quality.

What Are The Different Furnace Brands?

Today’s furnace models are making huge strides in producing the most energy efficient heat possible. Our Sacramento heating company explains that most common brands include Trane, Lennox, Goodman, Rheem, York, and Carrier. It is definitely useful to compare brands and conduct analysis. Checking customer feedback online and product recalls will let you know which furnace models provide reliable performance.

What is Your Home’s Square Footage?

Installing a wrong size heating system may leave you with a furnace that doesn’t fit with the size of your house. This will result in you spending more on repairing the furnace due to frequent system failures. Make sure that one of our Sacramento heating repair technicians measures and inspects your home to assess the installation area and ensure that you get the right size of the furnace.

What Areas Do You Need to Heat?

In addition to deciding the size of your heating system that will be right for your house, you will need to determine which areas of your home need the most heat. Heating a space that is not in use is after all, a massive waste of energy. Luckily, today, several modern furnaces will divide your home into regions, giving you the chance to provide heat to places that really need it.

Is Your Furnace Running on Gas or Electricity?

The three primary fuel types of the furnace are coal, electricity and solar. Solar furnaces skip fuel and instead focus on solar energy to help you reduce your carbon footprint. A gas furnace would require you to have proper gas connections, but they are renowned for their enhanced energy efficiency. Electric furnaces do not have the same energy-efficient advantages, but they are longer-lasting and safer compared to gas furnaces.

Contact a Sacramento Furnace Repair or Replacement Company

If you would like to repair or replace your furnace, contact Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing. We have a dedicated team of heating technicians who can take care of any kind of problem. When you call us, one of our heating experts will come to your home, examine your HVAC system, and explore your options. If you choose to have your heater replaced, you can trust that we will deliver on our promises, thanks to our Gilmore Guarantees – Lifetime Guarantee, Workmanship Guarantee, Lowest Price Guarantee, Property Protection Guarantee. Don’t forget to check out our plumbing and HVAC coupons to save on heating repair or replacement services in Sacramento and beyond!

 

How to Fix a Running or Leaking Toilet



How to Fix a Running or Leaking Toilet

We understand that not everyone wants to hire a Sacramento plumbing company for a simple DIY issue. In some situations, you fix a leaky toilet yourself. However, it’s always recommended to contact a Sacramento plumbing service to do the job. Toilets, like cars, come in different versions, but they’re all essentially working the same way to perform a similar purpose. In the article below, our Sacramento plumbers share how to fix a running or leaking toilet. 

The Toilet is Running 24/7

If the fill valve doesn’t turn off at all, you’ve got a working toilet. In most situations, the filling valve would be partially closed. Thus,  the water does not flow at full force, but it may still waste a few gallons of water every hour. This is why it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.

The flapper or canister seal may be the culprit, and it may need to be replaced. However, the issue may be even simpler. The chain connecting the flapper or canister to the flush handle may be too short. Thus, this prevents the flapper or canister from sitting on the flush valve and creating a watertight seal. If that’s the case, all you have to do to repair your leaking toilet is lengthen the chain by a couple of notches.

Another potential trigger is a filling valve that is stuck or malfunctioning so that the water is not shut off. The filling valve float (the part that rises with the tank water and finally shuts off the filling valve) may be trapped on the valve shaft, and sometimes the valve simply stops working. In any case, a fast replacement of the entire filling valve is simple to repair. If you need more help, you may need to seek toilet repair services Sacramento.

The Toilet Tank Overfills

The filling valve may also trigger a running toilet, because when it is not properly balanced, the tank overflows and the excess water spills into the overflow channel. It’s very clear to see this happening. If you have an old ball-cock-style filling valve, unscrew the ball to lengthen the armature. Or, you can bend the armature to make the ball sit deeper in the tank. To change the filling valve of the Fluidmaster cup, lengthen the rod that attaches the float to the valve by unplugging it or unplugging the nut on top with the screwdriver.

Fill valves also have an adjustment screw on the top of the valve body. Additionally, you can improve the sensitivity of the valve and make the valve shut down earlier. You can do this by turning the screw clockwise with a screwdriver. Sometimes, the valve is only worn out and needs to be replaced. Luckily, that’s an easy DIY project and the valves are cheap. However, if you are searching for a plumbing service near me, our Sacramento plumbers would be happy to get your toilet running smoothly.

The Toilet Tank is Leaking

A leaking toilet will drip water to the floor below the tank. When this happens, it’s typically because the toilet tank bolts are loose or the seals around them break. We asked our friends over at McQuillan Brothers, Twin Cities plumbing company what they recommend. John McQuillan suggests that, first, try to tighten the bolts with a screwdriver, and if that doesn’t stop the leak, drain the tank, cut each bolt and replace the rubber gasket around the head. You can use the bolts again, but it’s probably a good idea to fix them as well.

If the tank is still leaking, check for signs of a hairline fracture. So, if you notice any, repair the tank or the entire toilet. However, if you don’t see any signs of cracking, the next thing you need to do is remove the tank from the bowl and replace the rubber gasket between them, called the spud washer.

There’s Water Around the Toilet Base

If you see water on the floor around the bottom of the toilet, that means that the wax ring is leaking. Although there may be many explanations for this, the solution is often to remove the toilet. If you’re squeamish, this is the toilet repair you want to stop, because things are going to get yucky. Scraping off old wax isn’t inherently unhealthful, but you definitely want to wear gloves when doing that because it’s a messy job.

There’s a good reason to call a Sacramento plumber if things get to this point. The wax ring can leak because the bottom of the toilet is too far away from the toilet flange, which is the fitting that holds the toilet to the floor. This is easy to patch, but it is also likely that the flange is corroded and needs to be fixed or replaced. This is always a job for someone with the right equipment and know-how. You can always count on Gilmore Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Plumbing to lend a hand. We offer Sacramento valley residence 24/7 emergency home services. Don’t wait until your plumbing problem gets works, contact Gilmore today!

HVAC New Year’s Resolutions



HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

The new year is a new slate for many of us. As we take on 2021, consider making a few new year’s resolutions to improve your health, home, and overall life. Below, our Sacramento heating company shares a few HVAC new year’s resolutions Sacramento homeowners can incorporate this year.

Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Service

Annual HVAC maintenance services are essential to keeping your heating and cooling system running efficiently. During a regular tune-up, your Sacramento HVAC service technician can check the components of your furnace or air conditioning system. If something doesn’t work properly, our HVAC technician will come up with a solution to fix it right away. Failure to maintain your heating and cooling system can lead to major problems that could shorten your life and cost you a lot of extra repairs.

You will also reduce the chance of a complete failure by detecting issues sooner. It’s safer to get your air conditioner tested early in the spring and your furnace checked in the fall. If you sign up for an HVAC maintenance agreement, you might be eligible for a part and labor discount for any necessary repair services. You will also keep up to date with the appropriate maintenance schedule for your unit.

Change Your Air Filters Often

You’ll find a filter that plays an important role in your HVAC system. The filter helps eliminate pollutants from the air until they accumulate in your ducts and pass through the system. If the filter gets clogged, the machine has to work harder to transfer the heated and cooled air, resulting in energy loss and higher bills. A dirty filter can also decrease the quality of indoor air in your house, which can make your family sick.

Our Placerville heating company suggests making a pledge to adjust the filter as much as recommended by your furnace maker. Filters used in certain high-efficiency systems will last up to six months, whereas regular filters should be replaced every month or two.

Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality 

When you think about poor air quality, your mind is likely to jump to the smog and pollution found outdoors in big cities. However, the consistency of the air you breathe inside may be considerably worse. That’s because we’re continuously breathing air that travels through the HVAC system up to a few times a day. You can notice allergic symptoms such as congestion, sore throats, headaches, and eye irritation if you have particles stuck in your ducts or dirt and debris in your home. This may all suggest the need to enhance the quality of indoor air.

Changing your HVAC filter periodically is a successful first step, but you might need to do more. Think about installing an air purifier that eliminates toxins from the air making them safe and healthy for your family to breathe. This IAQ device contains a filter with a higher rating of MERV (minimum performance reporting value). Smaller particles may be caught, reducing the toxins in the air. As a result, people with health issues will feel better.

Program Your Thermostat or Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat 

Finally, the last HVAC New Year’s Resolution our Sacramento heating repair company recommends is to correctly configure your thermostat. Most modern HVAC systems have programmable thermostats that allow you to set a schedule for the periods you are most frequently at home and away from home.

By programming your thermostat, you can set a comfortable temperature without having to make manual changes, which will cause the machine to turn on and off more frequently. If you allow your thermostat to do its job, you will enjoy a comfortable environment while reducing energy waste. As a result, you’re going to save money every month. Our friends at Specialized AV, a smart home automation installer in Sacramento, recommend investing in a smart thermostat. This technology allows homeowners to operate their home’s thermostat from their smart device. 

Make 2021 your year by setting and sticking to your new year’s resolutions. If you need assistance with your heating and cooling system, contact Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing. When you call us, one of our heating experts will come to your home, examine your HVAC system, and then sit down with you and explore your options. If you choose to have your heater replaced, you can trust that we will deliver on our promises, thanks to our Gilmore Guarantees – Lifetime Guarantee, Workmanship Guarantee, Lowest Price Guarantee, Property Protection Guarantee. Don’t forget to check out our plumbing and HVAC coupons to save on HVAC services in Sacramento and beyond!